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Discussion: (57 comments)

  1. But you see everyone wants to be equal, if they don’t want to be equal then something is wrong with them and they need to be fixed. Also if any evidence shows that people are not equal then that evidence is obviously false, it doesn’t even need to be tested. They would surely spout some nonsense about sexism being bad period if they were pressed.

    This is the really big blind spot on the left. It’s obvious to see the blind spots looking to the right for most people but it’s as if most people unquestioningly accept the anti-reality/anti-science on the left. Maybe the moderate right will wake up and challenge it but it’s hard to see that happen with the Republicans being disproportionately run by Christian loonies. They scare reality based folks more than these liberal idiots do.

    1. Dave Foster

      Speaking as a Christian ‘loonie’ I am impressed with a study that proves the obvious. Science is quite specific (these days) about when life begins too.
      Not all ‘science’ pushed by the left is nearly as sure.

      1. Bob Grumman

        Saying life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a sperm-cell is opinion, not science. There is also the more subtle question as to when meaningful life begins, which Christian loonies (and I don’t consider all Christians loonies) would no doubt be appalled by if they were capable of considering it.

        1. Is my life meaningful? Who gets to define that? What happens to someone when society determines that their life is no longer meaningful? This never ends well.

          A Christian loon who thinks all human life has meaning, no matter where that life resides, in utero or in nursing home. Imago Dei.

        2. Actually, saying life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a sperm-cell really IS science. Go read a biology or embryology book before you start making invalid claims. Textbooks from earlier than 1975 have taught that from the moment of fertilization, a new human being–a member of the Homo sapiens species–is created, and also that the zygote and fetus are simply early stages of human development, as the newborn, toddler, adolescent, and adult stages are. Even the most basic of embryology books will establish that the embryonic period and adult period are naturally the same living being, and type of being, and that the biological differences are due only to differences in maturity (exactly as the toddler and adult periods are simply different levels of maturity). Nice try though.

          “History is littered with disastrous examples of laws which pretended some people were not human beings to achieve some desired result or suit someone’s philosophy…Just laws must be based on accurate evidence, not arbitrary lines unrelated to reality. If there’s no objective criteria for who’s a human being, then personhood and the fundamental rights that go with it can be defined in any way any powerful person or group decides.” -Stephen Woodworth

        3. And the scientific “proof” of your comment is?

        4. David Cook

          Bob Grumman,
          Show me a biologist who does not say that a zygote is genetically distinct from the mother and who who will say that the zygote is dead. Arguments favoring the right of the mother to abort are founded in the idea that the existence of the unborn, living, genetically differentiated entity in the womb is contingent on the mother sustaining its life… not that it isn’t really alive. Clearly if it were not alive no action would need to be taken to stop a live baby from being born. Biology is impossible to dismiss Bob.

        5. Gabriel Milano

          We consider bacteria or parasites as actually living organisms with an independent principle of growth; yet we cannot recognize a child as an organism? I think we would have to except this, because both have this independent principle of life, otherwise it would meaningless to speak about the way that these things are drawing life from the person they are in.

          The difference between the two independently growing organisms is that a child is a an organism that is developing into an organism that thinks and wills its own ends.

          I suppose you could say that since it cannot will or think in the womb, it must not be a person that has a right to life, but it is still plainly an organism without distinction. But this is a very disintegrated way of thinking. Will one speaking to Einstein tell him that there was a time before he was born when he had no human rights. He will ask “Would I have rights after I was born then?” Others would respond “Yes.” He will ask curiously, “But what is the difference? If I could not think or will outside of the womb, what makes it ok to kill me inside the womb? At what age, then could I be killed without calling it murder?” Either it must be ok to kill a child before it can reason and will (since this is what a person consists in), or the child at any point of development (i.e. as an embryo) is a person, because it is developing into someone who can reason and will, and therefore it is never. God help us if the former is ever thought to be true.

          1. GW Bramhall

            Well put, but unfortunately the former is already too widely thought true.

        6. I find it funny that, even among my atheist acquaintances, when a couple is trying to get pregnant, they invariably announce it shortly after receiving a positive pregnancy test. What seems to determine if a fertilized egg is a baby is whether it is wanted by the parents. In his arrogance man always seeks to make himself equal to God.

    2. Anon, about your comment: “if they don’t want to be equal then something is wrong with them and they need to be fixed.”

      Perhaps you want to be more careful of your words used. It sounds like you are suggesting that women (who don’t want to be equal) are animals who need to be neutered.

    3. Anon,
      I don’t want to be “equal.” I feel like a princess when we go somewhere and I wait for my husband to open the door. It is not a matter of being beneath him because I can’t open the door for myself. I surely can, and do it all the time when he is not with me (obviously). I think instead it lifts me to a status above him to have him serve me in such a small way, much like anyone would any public diplomat just out of social and business etiquette. It is the Christian loons you speak of who have been trying to get women to understand and act on what this article states – we will be happier if we allow ourselves to serve each other, men and women. One serves in one way, the other in another. We Christians are the ones who have been trying to fight the left on this issue all along; the moderates are not going to. They haven’t yet, and they never will.

  2. Cameron Davis

    I agree with the article. Discrimination–treating people differently than others–is almost always bad because it almost always involves treating people that inherently the same differently. For example, racism is treating black people as subhuman–even though they inherently are no different than white people except in their skin color. However, men and women are different because they have different hormones. They are different biologically, and these biological differences make them have certain preferences. Women like to be courted by a gentleman, for example. If it has a positive effect on happiness, it shouldn’t matter. Clearly the lack of “equality”–which really isn’t an issue of equality because men and women ARE inherently different and thus don’t need to be treated exactly the same–does not have as great of an effect on happiness as the positive side of benevolent sexism does.

    1. Jamie Pritchard

      I’m not trying to say that your point is completely invalid, but I do think that you are using some logic that lies in a lot of assumptions that are at best an oversimplification.

      In the days of the civil rights struggle, people believed (and science supported at the time) that African Americans were not only cosmetically different, but biologically different. And we used these ‘differences’ to support our oppression of African American people.

      Likewise, our view of women’s biological equality has shifted over the years as well. In the early 20th century, it was believed that women were too fragile to participate in most sports. For a good example, do a little research on women in marathons.

      There are certainly some biological differences between men and women, but as history has progressed, it seems that those differences have been deemphasized. Women have grown to be more biologically equal as they have become more socially equal. And to be honest, I don’t see any reason that this trend wouldn’t continue in the future.

      1. Francisco Wulff

        Jamie makes very good clarifications on the debate, and I agree with his general argument. Still, men and women seem be clearly different to each other at least when it comes to the way in which we relate, and this is regardless of sexual orientation. Men to men relationships are clearly different from men to women relationships and those two differ from women to women relationships. In my view, it is to this aspect of gender (in)equality that the point of “gentlemanly behavior” really applies. Clearly we should all be equal before the law, etc. etc. etc.

        1. Is it sexist to assume the Jamie is a Man? Just sayin’

      2. Well, I get your point but think it is overly simplified. Yes, women do participate in athletic competitions much more today than at the advent of the 20th century. But biologically women and men are no more biologically equal now than they were then. Women have worked to develop themselves it is true, but they are still slower, less quick, don’t jump as high, have less strength, etc than their male athletic counterparts. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t play – but they still are not equal biologically in athletic endeavors – and they also play the team sport most susceptible to concussions – women’s soccer – worse than men’s soccer or even football. They are more likely to get injured, particularly joints which are not as large and strong as their male counterparts.

        When I think of equality, I think of equality before the law – the rest is just posturing.

        1. Jem, don’t know and don’t care much about sports but I like your final line. Would like to see it on bilboards!

        2. And… people like JEM are much more susceptible to being kicked in the nuts.

          Seriously, though, it’s obvious that men and women are not biologically the *same*. Whether they are equally strong requires a metric for strength. Women are better at marathon swimming and ultrarunning, so if your measurement is the ability to swim or run long distances, men are behind. If your metric is pure strength, men are ahead. But I’d be wary of thinking that women are at their peak now, considering that sports training and medicine, as well as sports culture, has only been oriented towards women for less than a century, as compared to, well, forever for men. Also, what is true on average by definition is not true for individuals. An individual woman may be stronger than most men.

      3. I respectfully disagree with the statement that women have grown to be more biologically equal. As evidence I submit the following web sites that show women’s world records in track in field and high school records for men. The men’s high school records are better than the women’s world records.

        1. Jamie Pritchard

          Respectfully, I don’t think these links have anything to do with whether or not the sexes have grown closer to becoming ‘biologically equal’.

          All this shows is that as of today, there are still differences between men’s and women’s performance, and I don’t think anyone is arguing that men don’t typically perform better in physical sports. What I’m claiming is that the gap between the sexes has progressively gotten smaller with time.

          I don’t have the data yet (but I am searching for it), but I would be willing to wager that if you were to look at average running times over the past 100 years, you would see the gap between men and women’s times narrowing. If this is true, it would be likely to expect that this will continue into the future.

          The reason this is important is because we use this ‘fact’ to justify discrimination (albeit benevolent at times). And that same discrimination reinforces the differences and maintains the cycle.

          1. I’ll take the bet, but we’ll never agree on the standard for determining who won. Do we use individual athletes or the average of a population?
            Here is an example of the problem. The US Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) has these standards for passing (60 points) and achieving a perfect score (100 points) on three tests, the Push Up (PU), the Sit Up (SU), and the 2 mile run (Run).
            Male 17-21 yrs old: PU 42reps=60 pts, 71reps=100pts
            Female 17-21 yrs old: PU 19reps=60 pts, 42reps=100pts
            Male 17-21 yrs old: Run 15:54min=60 pts, 13:00min=100pts
            Female 17-21 yrs old: Run 18:54min=60 pts, 15:36min=100pts
            For SU, the male and female standards are the same: SU 53reps=60pts, 78reps=100pts

            Women carry their weight in their hips, which is why the SU standards are the same for male and female.
            Women have less mass in their upper torso, so females do 19 PU reps to pass while males do 42 reps.
            Women are shorter and run slower so they can run 2 mile in 18:54 and pass, while a male must run under 15:54 to pass.

            The army has recognized that male and female soldiers are built different and cannot take the APFT to the same standards. While women may be reducing the delta between men, until the average woman has more mass in their upper torso and is taller, they will not be able to compete against men on upper body strength tests and running. These standards were developed by studying and testing large numbers of men and women in the Army.

            A side issue: This seems to be discrimination against men, for male soldiers are held to a different standard than female even though they are doing the exact same job.

            Data taken from DA Form 705.

          2. GW Bramhall

            Your arguement is falsely based. The relative performances of let’s say the women 100 meter
            runners or the female shot putters are relatively
            narrower today than 50 years ago, I’m sure. Some
            day the best female will be able to match the male world
            record shot putt of 50 years ago, perhaps. But it will never come to pass that a woman will ever beat the current male world record in any athletic event. Why do you suppose that is even near correct if not absolutely correct? The answer is because there is a difference between men and women. That is not a problem, it should be celebrated. It gives texture to our world and pleasure to our lives. We are built differently. Now, I may be way off base about the argument being made in this article, but the notion of treating a woman gentlemanly by holding the door for her or not talking to her a as we might another man, is somehow a form of sexual harasment is absurd on the face of it and only speaks to how many today look too deeply to find problems where none exists.

      4. “Women have grown to be more biologically equal”

        Seriously? So… when was the last time you beat a man in an arm-wrestling match? Ran faster? Lifted more weight? Not to mention that little thing about child-bearing.

        Sorry, but after 10 years of martial arts training, I can guarantee you that women are not “biologically equal” to men and they’re never going to be. Men will always be stronger, faster, and heavier, and we’re always going to have to work harder to compensate. After 10 years in engineering, I can tell you that I don’t believe we’ll ever reach gender equality in the more intensive fields (mechanical, aerospace, electrical, physics). As for your own example of marathons, the record times for men (for all running, not just marathons) are lower than those for women.

        There are biological differences between races as well, but those mainly have to do with a tendency to different body types (basketball teams are heavily black, for example), and different risks for diseases. They have far less relevance for everyday life than do the biological differences between men and women.

        I will also state for the record that just because these differences are real is not an excuse for discrimination en masse. Each individual is different, and must be judged by his/her own merits, not those of his “groups.” But neither does that mean we can wave real differences away just because we don’t like them.

    2. GW Bramhall

      Perhaps I am reading the article wrong, but it seems to me that you don’t agree with it. If, in the history of mankind, a dance between men and women has evolved that makes them both happy, how can that be wrong? I read from this article that they want to scrub out this behavior, out of some sense that they know better, and therefor they are a bunch of bigoted know-it-alls of the type that are in control of our government currently. One might say men and women are obviously different from one another, but their respective importance to the human race is equal. Where am I wrong with this?

  3. What behaviors constitute “benevolent sexism”?

  4. Thomas Aquinas


    What if we offer this principle:

    “All people ought to be treated appropriately to their station in life, including their relation to others.”

    This principle, I suggest, ought to be equally applied. So, I treat my mother differently than my wife. I romantically try to woo the latter while I visit the latter. If your understanding “equality” were correct, then my acts would constitute an injustice. Perhaps I should just visit my wife and woo my mother? But that seems clearly ridiculous.

    So, if I am to be a gentleman, I ought to treat ladies with a level of respect and deference appropriate to ladies. It would, in most cases, rarely differ from how I would treat other gentlemen, but there will be exceptions. (I think, for example, of the unladylike Snookie).

    Living in a world in which we know how to treat people appropriately given their station in life liberates us, allows us to act freely and effortlessly in our generosity and kindness. But a world in which preference satisfaction rules–a world in which I really never quite know how to treat another because it all depends on what “she or he wants”–is a desperately wicked state of affairs, reducing personal virtue to a series of impersonal consensual contracts. Who wants to live in such a hell?

  5. Thomas Aquinas

    Mistake in prior post. I meant to say “visit the former” rather than “visit the latter.”

    1. Cameron Davis

      Thomas Aquinas,

      Maybe what I said wasn’t clear, but I agree with you completely. My post was trying to say exactly what you just said.

  6. Thomas Aquinas

    Yikes! Sorry Cameron. I read you too quickly and without care. My apologies.

  7. Doesn’t this whole study boil down to treating people the way they would like to be treated?

    If someone does not like the way you treated them, apologize and don’t do it anymore. But if they indicate that they like the way you treat them, continue doing it.

    Another sociology study just confirmed the obvious. I could have saved someone a lot of time and saved taxpayers a lot of money…..

  8. One of many “studies” of “stuff we already know to be true”. If it’s the “sexism” part of “benevolent sexism” that social scientists don’t like, perhaps they should promote non-sexist but still “gentlemanly” behavior? I hope that the fact I hold doors open for everyone, would not somehow _reduce_ the happiness of women for whom I hold doors open! Or would some women feel less “special” or privileged as a result?

  9. neal grant

    My question is, why is Women’s Psychology only a quarterly publication? Women are psycho enough for a monthly publication.

  10. The piece that is missed by the researchers is that ‘benevolent sexism’ is actually a show of respect. I know many men who open doors for women and not one of these men believe women to be incapable of opening doors. Equality for women (to be treated like men), per the liberal agenda, was actually a step down. Some of the feminists were just too hostile to realize it.

    1. Rae Palmer

      I absolutely agree, and was reading to see if someone else posted the same before I did. I’ve taught my teenage son that he is to treat women “respectfully”, not that he has to help women because they can’t help themselves. Why do “feminists” have to view everything regarding men in a negative light? We teach our kids to be kind to others and to be helpful to others (including opening doors). They do this regardless of whether a person is a man or women. Yes, it should cause positive feelings for both parties because it is one human being showing kindness to another. It has nothing to do with sexism. Women need to get over themselves. Honestly. BTW, I’m a 40 year old mother of three, two of which are girls, so I certainly don’t teach my children that women aren’t equal.

  11. Thomas Aquinus wrote, “All people ought to be treated appropriately to their station in life, including their relation to others.”

    I disagree. We should treat all people courteously regardless of their station in life. And, DLeak, we cannot treat everyone as they would like to be treated, until we know how they would like to be treated, and some of them will have likes and expectations that we will disagree with. Particularly if they treat us like crap.

    1. Gary Simmons

      Sam L: you misunderstand Thomas Aquinas. He is *not* implying that you should ever treat anyone like crap, but you definitely don’t treat all women alike. I can’t treat my wife like a total stranger, or a stranger like my wife. If I do either of those, my wife would NOT be happy!

  12. David Parsons

    I’m not a psychiatrist, so I can’t authoritatively explain why some women object to men treating women differently than they treat other men. But here’s a clue for those women. When you teach boys that the differences between boys and girls are just superficial, he loses respect for you.

  13. charles platt

    “Equality” is far more subtle than it may seem, and social engineering does not necessarily create happiness. In addition, gender differences are a natural part of being human.

    In Japan, the society appears to be male dominated, yet in a traditional family the man earns while the woman spends. She takes the man’s pay check, gives him an allowance, and manages the rest.

    When I was treated to a dinner at a restaurant by editors at my Japanese publishing house, the women editors remained demurely silent for most of the meal, while the male editors did all the talking. As soon as the check arrived, a woman took it, did the math very efficiently, and told the men how much they had to contribute.

    So, how do you measure “equality”?

  14. There’s a great deal of misdirection involved with people who try to defy such stereotypes and then find themselves unhappy. “I’m not unhappy because I failed to conform, I’m unhappy because everybody else is so mean to us nonconformists!”

    So you will never get anyone to admit there is something bred in the bone that way. For progressive types, it’s always Year Zero and we’re always baking up everything fresh today.

  15. Dear Lord, Charles Murray, you are a either lazy (and didn’t read the entire paper) or a hack and a liar (which is far more likely. The study’s author writes:

    “Correlational research also suggests that benevolently sexist attitudes contribute to women’s subjugation. For instance, Fiske and Glick (1995) as well as Pryor, Geidd, and Williams (1995) found that benevolently sexist attitudes are associated with beliefs that excuse sexual harassment. In a multinational study, Glick et al. (2000) found that higher national averages of benevolent sexism predicted greater gender discrimination. Glick, Sakalli-Ugurlu, Ferreira, and Aguiar de Souza (2002) noted that individuals who endorse benevolent sexism tend to hold beliefs justifying spousal abuse. Abrams, Viki, Masser, and Bohner (2003) and Viki and Abrams (2002) demonstrated that men who possess benevolently sexist attitudes reacted negatively to female rape victims who violate traditional feminine norms. Moya, Glick, Expo´sito, de Lemus, and Hart (2007) reported that women who endorse benevolent sexism are more likely to accept men’s behavioral restrictions. Finally, Expósito, Herrera, Moya, and Glick (2010) documented that women who hold benevolently sexist attitudes believe that men will react negatively, and even violently, to a wife’s career success.”

    You’re a damn embarrassment to social science.

    1. LockedOutofAcademia

      Well, some of us aren’t able to access the full paper, since it’s behind a giant pay wall. So much for transparency in academia.

      Why are the social sciences so guarded with their information? The STEM fields are much more open and continue to push for complete transparency, while the social scientists stubbornly oppose such changes. I think we’ve seen this before in history, though this time the social scientists have taken on the role of the medieval clergy.

    2. Charles,

      I’d wager you didn’t read the paper either, since you quote comes directly from this Think Progress blog post:

      In fact, I doubt you’ve read anything that Mr. Murray has ever written in full.

    3. LockedOutofAcademia: They can’t show you the data because then you might try to duplicate the results. The down fall of all social “science” is the complete lack of observable, measurable, repeatable experiments. They cannot and do not use the scientific method, but desperately want the mantle of objective science. All they have is pseudoscience.
      They make the following errors (not a complete list):
      1) Take a specific and make it a generalization
      2) Fail to show causation
      3) Fail to show sequence of events
      4) Refuse to take any position that is not PC
      1) A person that abuses their spouse exhibits signs of “BS”. Does that mean that all people who “BS” will abuse their spouses?
      2) & 3) Men that engage in spouse abuse are domineering, violent and controlling. Were they all that first and use “benevolent sexism” to justify their actions? Or were they “benevolent sexists” and then became spouse abusers? What caused the spouse abuse and which came first?
      4) A large portion of “BS” occurs in muslim countries. Any social scientist want to look for causation between Islam and “BS”? Didn’t think so. Cowards.

  16. 80's Comedian

    Men and women be different.

  17. Woah, what a bunch of messed up women these are! The best thing in the world is for a man to treat a woman right, as opposed to the “50 Shades of Gray” trash. I feel sorry for all you so-called ladies that do not want men to treat you like ladies. You are missing out, and will always have that void in your soul for love and respect. Sad, sad, sad.

  18. What worries me is the last sentence in the abstract
    “Thus, our findings reinforce the dangerous nature of benevolent sexism and emphasize the need for interventions to reduce its prevalence.”

    These “interventions” spoken of, do they want to regulate etiquette? A man holding the door for me should be illegal? I often hold the door for another woman or man. Is that also “dangerous”? Should that be regulated?

    1. But some people think that a woman holding the door open for a man will emasculate him and also think that women should be made to be helpless.

      1. john schwab

        But some people think that a woman holding the door open for a man will emasculate him and also think that women should be made to be helpless.


  19. “the current study tested system justification theory’s prediction … ”

    Where’s Richard Mitchell [the Underground Grammarian] when we need him?

  20. CoffeeCrazed

    It would seem to me that “benevolent” and “spousal abuse” do not go together. Is this just a way of speciously linking two concepts, thus demonizing those of us who are “benevolently sexist”?

    Putting the hardcore anti-male feminists aside, I am still amazed that the current average woman who pushes equality, still desires this approach. After all, what are they bringing to the table? “We are equal but we want you to do this for us.” Women as a rule need to reevaluate their role in the transaction; they can desire that care/respect but must not take it for granted.

    I continue to show this respect (I resent the use of the word chivalry) and couldn’t give a rat’s patoot about the response of some radical. However, i might bring horror to the hearts of some as to my rationale for delivering this respect. Different discussion.

    Proud to be benevolently sexist.

  21. I’m a woman. I really like benevolent sexism and I’m going to be pissed as hell if it’s taken away from me.


    I do not want to be drafted for war. I do not want to have to do most of the awful jobs that men end up having to do. I do not want to pay for dates. I want doors opened for me. I want to be treated like something DIFFERENT FROM A MAN because I am not a man.

    I don’t want to be mistreated or abused but I want an alpha male who treats me like the fairer sex. I want to be protected and taken care of.

    Seriously… some of us LIKE “benevolent sexism” and are getting really tired of these retarded feminazis who are trying to basically take every good thing in life that we have away.

    Seriously Screw you, feminists. Stop speaking for me.

  22. I know I am late to this approach. My Point is the following: people in any group need to learn how to be respectful of each other and work with each other. If this ‘benevolent sexism’ or chivalry is so bad for women, then why do woman teach it? I was taught ladies first from adult woman when I was a young boy. I also feel the extreme views are getting out of hand. How could chivalry be sexist if it makes people happy? At some point we have to relax and put this behind us.

    1. GWBramhall

      Isn’t it amazing what people go out of their way
      to find fault in? If gentlemanly behavior did not
      produce beneficial results it would not be found
      in our culture. What could possibly be wrong with
      treating a woman like a lady?

  23. The thing to remember is that ~25% of woman have been seriously sexually abused in their childhood. This is the “all men are rapists” group (seeing through their history – as us neurotics always do). They join psychology and sociology classes with a whopping great chip on their shoulder, ready to do battle (prove their case) with their newly personified enemy: Men.

    We can do no right.

  24. Most woman love gentlemanly behaviour. When it’s sincere they experience it as friendly, respectful, and a graceful acknowledgement of appreciation of sex difference. Woman (most!) like to feel like woman, in the same way that men like to feel like men.

  25. bebelyssious

    isn’t it funny that these radfeminists (the two of who formulated this hypothesis are men) are trying to end “sexism” when they’re the most sexist people of all?

    Don’t believe me?

    Hold open the door for a radfeminist.

    if you’re a woman, she will say “thank you”.

    if you’re a man, she will spit in your face.

    Real sexism does exist, and BENEVOLENT “SEXISM” IS NOT SEXISM AT ALL.

    these radfeminists are the most sexist of all.

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